Adobe Revises Photoshop Express Terms of Service

Adobe announced on Friday that it is revising the terms of service for its Web-based Photoshop Express image editing service. The change follows concerns that Adobe could use subscriber images in nearly any way it wanted.

The new terms of service state that Adobe has limited rights that allow the company "to operate the service and to enable you to do all the things the service offers." Should a subscriber terminate their account, Adobe will not claim ownership of the useris images, nor will it sell those images.

The original terms implied that once an image was uploaded into a useris Photoshop Express account, Adobe was free to use the image as it pleased -- including selling the image or reusing it in other ways.

While Adobe has added a clear statement that it does not own useris content, wording still remains in the terms of service that could be construed as ownership rights:

Adobe does not claim ownership of Your Content. However, with respect to Your Content that you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Services, and unless otherwise specifically agreed in any Additional Terms that might accompany individual services (such as, you grant Adobe a worldwide, royalty-free, nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other Materials or works in any format or medium now known or later developed.

The company also added wording that attempts to clarify those terms further:

With respect to Your Content, you grant Adobe a worldwide (because the internet is global), royalty-free (meaning we do not owe you any money), nonexclusive (meaning you are free to license Your Content to others) fully sublicensable (so that we can permit our affiliates, subcontractors and agents to deliver the Service on our behalf) license to use, reproduce and modify Your Content solely for the purposes of operating the Service and enabling your use of the Service. With respect to Your Shared Content, you additionally grant Adobe the rights to distribute, publicly perform and publicly display Your Shared Content (in whole or in part) for the sole purposes of operating the Service and enabling your use of the Service and to sublicense Your Shared Content to Other Users.

In essence, Adobe is stating that the original terms as well as the clarifications in the new terms are necessary in order to operate the Photoshop Express service, and are not intended to give the company ownership rights for the content users upload.

Adobe introduced a public beta of Photoshop Express on March 27 as a way to offer basic image editing features from Photoshop for free and without requiring users to install any software on their computer. The service lets users edit, store, and show their digital images, supports nondestructive editing, and includes 2GB of online storage space.

The new Photoshop Express terms of service will go into effect on April 10 so that users will have an opportunity to review them in advance.